E-commerce becoming propeller of China rural boom

BEIJING (Xinhua) – E-commerce platforms are helping China’s rural areas prosper by efficiently matching the supply of local produce with the growing appetite of urban consumers, a report showed.

Rural produce is making its way faster and at a lower cost to urban areas as e-commerce players step up presence in the countryside, according to a report by the Chinese Academy of International Trade and Economic Cooperation, a think tank with China’s Commerce Ministry.

E-commerce platforms like Pinduoduo have worked with local governments to include poor households in a sound industrial chain ranging from produce cultivation to processing and sales, lending steam to the country’s anti-poverty campaign.

Pinduoduo saw the order value of agricultural and sideline products sales via its platform soar over 200 per cent year on year in 2018 to exceed CNY65 billion (about USD9.39 billion) and expected the number to top CNY120 billion in 2019. Some players are also introducing urban industrial products into rural areas to aid local people in creating a higher-quality life, the report noted.

China’s online retail sales and produce sales jumped 19.7 per cent and 26.4 per cent year on year respectively in the first three quarters of 2019, nearly three and 10 percentage points higher than the growth pace of overall online retail sales, official data showed.